Rep. Hintz: Gov. Walker should advocate for Wisconsin with president

Contact: Aaron Collins, 608-266-2254

MADISON– As Governor Walker poses for pictures with President Trump today, Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) is urging the Governor to use the time he has with the President to address several critical issues to the residents of Wisconsin.  In light of several recent events that have been dominating the headlines, it is more important now than ever that Governor Walker use his unique position as Wisconsin’s top elected official to make sure our state’s voice is heard in Washington D.C.

“In his own words, Governor Walker said ‘I’m elected to lead the state of Wisconsin and focus on the things that need to be done here.’  I couldn’t agree more,” said Rep.Hintz, “It is long past time for him to stop acting like a partisan candidate for office and to instead start acting like a Governor elected to represent all Wisconsinites.”

Tariffs:

President Trump has continued to escalate his trade war with other countries, including many of our historical allies.  Wisconsin is now beginning to see the real life consequences his rhetoric and policies have on businesses and consumers.  Just this week, the President attacked one of Wisconsin’s most successful and iconic businesses, Harley Davidson, threatening to “tax them like never before” if they move any of their production overseas in response to the trade war that was ignited by President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

“Harley Davidson is just the tip of the iceberg. Other industries that help to form the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy, such as cheese, cranberries, pork, ginseng, wheat and paper, are also beginning to feel the impact of President Trump’s ill-conceived and destructive policy,” Rep. Hintz said, “It is imperative that Governor Walker use his time with the President to press him to immediately end this policy which is having a negative impact on Wisconsin’s economy as well as to stop using his official office to attack Wisconsin businesses.”

Family Separation Policy:

Governor Walker has steadfastly refused to express an opinion on President Trump’s disgraceful family separation policy, claiming it is a “federal issue.”  Meanwhile, multiple governors, including Republicans, have refused to allow their National Guards to be sent to the Arizona border until the Trump Administration truly ends this policy.  And just this week, seventeen states, including several with Republican governors, sued the Trump administration to force it to reunite the estimated 2,300 children that have been separated from their parents under this policy.

“Governor Walker’s refusal to comment on the child separation policy is designed to be a signal to the extreme Trump base that he agrees with the merits of the administration’s plans,” Rep. Hintz said. “The Governor has a moral obligation to address this matter with the President and stand on the right side of history, regardless of the political consequences. It should go without saying that ripping children away from their families and housing them in cages is neither a federal issue nor a state issue. It is a moral imperative. When there is a moral failure at the federal level, states can and must fill the void.”

Protecting Wisconsin Residents with Pre-Existing Conditions:

As he began his campaign for a third term as Governor, many have noted the shift in Governor Walker’s position on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), from staunch critic to someone who has embraced some of its more popular provisions when he perceives it to be politically advantageous, such as programs designed to keep premiums down and protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration is currently refusing to defend the ACA from a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality now that its tax penalty has been removed, which was filed by Governor Walker’s Attorney General, Brad Schimel, amongst others.  Last week, a bipartisan group of nine governors sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reconsider his refusal to defend the ACA from this lawsuit.  Unfortunately, despite Governor Walker’s professed support for some of these protections, Wisconsin was not a signatory to that letter.

“If Governor Walker is truly committed to protecting Wisconsin residents with pre-existing conditions, he should use his time with President Trump to encourage him to defend the Affordable Care Act and ignore the request of his Attorney General to declare it unconstitutional,” Rep. Hintz said, “Were the Affordable Care Act to be ruled unconstitutional, the protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions that Governor Walker now claims to support would effectively be eliminated.  This would have terrible implications for individuals with pre-existing conditions and would likely make health insurance for many in Wisconsin unaffordable.”

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